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View Poll Results: Hyouka - Episode 11 Rating
Perfect 10 20 28.99%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 25 36.23%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 17 24.64%
7 out of 10 : Good 3 4.35%
6 out of 10 : Average 4 5.80%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2012-07-05, 14:52   Link #101
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by Hyper View Post
Great discussion. I already showed which side of opinion I'm on and others especially Flower and relentlessflame said it better than I can, so I won't repeating anything. I want to comment on this bit though.



Now that you point that out, the two stories and indeed similar. Houtarou would be Sekitani Jun. He get credited for something he don't want and for the wrong reason. And Irisu would be the real guy behind the student movement. She/he did something for a goal they think will ultimately benefit a majority of the students, and use that to justify whatever they have to do to achieve that goal. The fact that they will not receive benefit or punishment from the said action is also the same. The risk is all on Houtarou/Jun.
Like hell. Where are the wolves? Where are the rabbits turning away? Sekitani Jun had to flunk out of high school, leave it in dishonor. He'd been planned as scape goat from the beginning, paying for other people's crimes, without ever volunteering for it.

What has Houtarou lost? He had his ego inflated and subsequently deflated. As damage does, it's barely at the level of a prank. He was particularly susceptible, and it was wrong, yes, but it has nothing to do with Sekitani's situation.

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If the movie (with Houtarou's script) turned out to be boring, he will suffer the consequence, not Irisu. Well, maybe not entirely true since they probably won't credit him as a writer, but you get the idea.
I don't. She brought the Classics Club in, she okayed his solution - there's no way she wouldn't catch some of the blame. More than he would, really - what right would they have to expect a great solution from him? He put in the effort. If they don't like it they can seek elsewhere. But she is their leader.

And credited or not, he still got accolades.


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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think this line of reasoning rings a bit shallow.

Hongou was chosen to write the script at the class's request. She took it seriously, and apparently did a good job despite not writing it in such a way that people would die.
What makes it a good job in your eyes? It didn't sound like a very good mystery - though the backstory, about which we know nothing, might make it an interesting love story.

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What would actually have been looking out for Hongou's feelings here would be to either work with her to face the situation, or to stand up for her given all the hard work she's done.
Those are the hard options. Maybe they're better in some ways, but they're not everyone's first choice.

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Instead, Irisu played on Hongou's guilt and insecurities and provided her with a third option: a way out that would allow her to run away "blameless" from the project while she (Irisu) was free to figure out what to do with the script.
Exactly. It wouldn't have worked if Hongou hadn't wanted to run away in the first place.

You could say it would have been better to not indulge that side of her, to force her to confront the mess she and her classmates unwittingly made of the project - but that tack would be almost as guilty of "thinking she knows better than the others and is in position to make those choices for them". Does she think she's more clever than she is? Maybe, but mostly I think she just thinks she knows better.

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You could say "how nice; she's providing a way out for Hongou!", but if we go by "A~ta~shi"'s theory/accusation, her real motivation was that she realized the script needed to change and this was the most efficient way of doing it -- by bypassing the original author entirely. Yes, I suppose she could have taken an "it's all your fault" tact, but was that really likely to arrive at the end-result?
It's a given they'd have changed the script. They were all raring to go on that point.

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Are they really going to ostracise her when they're the ones who basically "voluntold" her to do all the work (even though she had no experience in the mystery genre to begin with)?
They're all nice guys, so I suppose they wouldn't have blamed her, as such. But it still wouldn't have been a pleasant scene.

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She lied to Hongou to avoid telling her what she really felt about the script. She lied to A~ta~shi because she knew she couldn't elicit sympathy from people if her story was just "the author wrote a script I/the class don't like the ending for". She lied to Eru and the Classics Club by setting up a fake premise to get them involved in her problem. She lied to Houtarou because she believed it would motivate him to write an ending that made sense for her movie, and she lied to him again by giving him a false sense of accomplishment as if he figured out a great mystery despite it still having obvious flaws (that she figured most wouldn't notice). And beneath this tangled web of lies, you're asking me to believe that, at the root of it all, she honestly didn't want Hongou to be hurt? I think that's definitely a stretch.
Yes. Because why lie, otherwise? She didn't plan on using the Classics Club at first - that came from A~ta~shi. All her subsequent lies came from being targeted at Houtarou by her senpai. But not that first lie to Hongou.

One could also wonder why she got involved at all. She wasn't a part of it at first. She could have stayed away.


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Now granted, I never once claimed that Irisu was "purely self-motivated", and I don't think even A~ta~shi's accusation precludes any possibility of good motives being in the mix to some degree. I'd go back to what I said earlier: I think, like a lot of manipulative people, she thinks she's more clever than she is, and she lacks some emotional awareness of the real impact of her decisions on others (particularly what will happen once she gets found out). I do think there are elements of her decision-making that seem self-serving, particularly her apparently-compulsive need to lie to everyone to accomplish what she wants. I suppose that, in her mind, all this may be what passes for consideration for others... but she's not exactly what I'd call a "good person" either. I would propose that the author's judgement call is that using such deceptive means to arrive at an end is a form of selfishness, because she cared more about efficiency at accomplishing an end than she really cared about anyone's feelings. Based on her reaction when faced with the accusation, there seems to be a grain of truth there after all.


Two things:

1. I think there are different degrees of guilt. In this case, it seems more like "an awareness of having done something that made someone else upset". It's not clear that she truly felt remorse over what she did. There was certainly no sense that she was thinking she'd never do something like that again. And even if she did want A~ta~shi to "smooth things over", that's not exactly selfless either -- that would be manipulating someone else into cleaning up her mess.
Why manipulate? She was straightforward about feeling guilty for hurting Houtarou. You're right in that I think she's sorry for getting caught more than for what she did. But that's not because of what it does to her (which is nothing). It's just that, if she hadn't gotten caught, Houtarou would still feel good instead of like crap.

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2. I think that Irisu assumed that A~ta~shi was something of a kindred spirit since she was the one who suggested "using" Houtarou in the first place. What resulted from her suggestion is very much on-topic. So she lets her guard down assuming that she would laugh it off and make some joke like "it's his fault for being so gullible" or something -- which you might expect a kindred spirit to say. So I think she was genuinely surprised by A~ta~shi's reaction that shows she has some limits as to the ways she's willing to "manipulate" others and why. And I think that's the only time she really showed any signs of being truly troubled by her actions, but whether she was troubled because she actually felt guilty, or because she realized that she was just "found out" is hard to say for sure. Manipulative people are usually trying to protect their status and position, and I think that's the underlying accusation here.
I think you have too high an opinion of A~ta~shi. She's a kindred spirit. That wasn't a moral rebuke - it was a warning to know her place. As Irisu manipulated Houtarou, A~ta~shi manipulated her into manipulating him. She is the master.

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Anyway, it seems that most of your real contention was about the perception that she's "pure evil" and has no once of goodness in her, and I wouldn't necessarily go that far. But at the same time, perhaps to provide a counterargument to that other extreme point of view (a sort of "devil's advocate" position... literally?) I think you're taking it too far the other way. I think the show has provided ample evidence to cast doubt on her motivation. But, having both presented our evidence and points of view, it's time for everyone else to make up their own minds.
She's wrong, and she wouldn't have done what she did without a dark side enabling her. But I don't think her prime motivator for playing such a game was selfishness, is all.

Last edited by Anh_Minh; 2012-07-05 at 15:30.
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Old 2012-07-05, 16:04   Link #102
relentlessflame
 
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Like hell. Where are the wolves? Where are the rabbits turning away? Sekitani Jun had to flunk out of high school, leave it in dishonor. He'd been planned as scape goat from the beginning, paying for other people's crimes, without ever volunteering for it.

What has Houtarou lost? He had his ego inflated and subsequently deflated. As damage does, it's barely at the level of a prank. He was particularly susceptible, and it was wrong, yes, but it has nothing to do with Sekitani's situation.
I think you're taking the analogy a little bit too literally. It's about how it feels to be manipulated to serve someone else's goals and being left broken-hearted (broken-willed/broken-spirited). In this case, it was indeed much smaller scale and the consequences were much smaller. But I think the lesson Houtarou will take from this is not so different from the moral or lesson from Hyouka: Houtarou needs to get stronger so he won't be eaten alive.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
What makes it a good job in your eyes? It didn't sound like a very good mystery - though the backstory, about which we know nothing, might make it an interesting love story.
Well, I'm basing this on what the Classics Club themselves said about it -- that she did do her research (even if it's based on Holmes), that she was detailed and conscientious, and obeyed all the rules of mystery writing. It's obvious that it's not the sort of story the class wanted, but the impression we're given is that the author's intended ending was at least carefully-constructed. Obviously, we don't know how much the class already changed during the filming, so it's hard to truly judge the story on its merits.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Yes. Because why lie, otherwise? She didn't plan on using the Classics Club at first - that came from A~ta~shi. All her subsequent lies came from being targeted at Houtarou by her senpai. But not that first lie to Hongou.
All of these are lies of convenience and expediency. In every case, the answer is clear: it's the most efficient way to reach the desired goal. In the end, though, even if you can justify the lies that got Houtarou involved, I think it quickly exceeds what is required just to cover for Hongou.

To put it another way, if the situation were different and the most efficient course of action called for another way of handling Hongou, the collection of her behaviour shown suggests to me that she would have chosen the more efficient option. But she does consider the feelings of others: as part of her calculation. I don't think we should mistake this for genuine heart-felt concern.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
One could also wonder why she got involved at all. She wasn't a part of it at first. She could have stayed away.
Well, she answers that herself: she wasn't in a position to allow the project to fail. That's her justification. Note that her answer was not to deny it or try to pretend that she really cared about Hongou. I don't think there's any question of whether she's driven and generally cold-hearted; they told us as much to start with, and showed nothing to prove otherwise. But again, that doesn't mean she's completely without feelings or any goodness at all.

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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I think you have too high an opinion of A~ta~shi. She's a kindred spirit. That wasn't a moral rebuke - it was a warning to know her place. She as Irisu manipulated Houtarou, A~ta~shi manipulated her into manipulating him. She is the master.
If you revisit the conversation that started it all, I think that's a stretch. Irisu was really twisting A~ta~shi's arm to get help, and she used the lie as a premise to get sympathy. And, from A~ta~shi's perspective, given the lie she was fed, there didn't seem to be anything wrong with eliciting Houtarou's help. I do think A~ta~shi is a manipulator, but I don't think her motivation is beng portrayed as being as self-serving as Irisu. But again, we don't necessarily have enough information to make a firm conclusion yet.


Anyway, as I said, I think the evidence is mostly on the table, and people will have to make up their own minds. I'm not sure if anything we say to each other will change our points of view at this point. This is just the thing about characters whose motivations are "varying shades of grey". In the end, if nothing else, they make for interesting discussion.
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Old 2012-07-05, 16:43   Link #103
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think you're taking the analogy a little bit too literally. It's about how it feels to be manipulated to serve someone else's goals and being left broken-hearted (broken-willed/broken-spirited). In this case, it was indeed much smaller scale and the consequences were much smaller. But I think the lesson Houtarou will take from this is not so different from the moral or lesson from Hyouka: Houtarou needs to get stronger so he won't be eaten alive.
It's not just a matter of scale. Houtarou was deceived. Jun wasn't. He was pressured, but he knew from the start what his role was. It eventually cost him a lot. Houtarou isn't worse off afterwards. He was tricked into being proud for the wrong reasons, but he still did something he can be proud of, and was praised for it.

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Well, I'm basing this on what the Classics Club themselves said about it -- that she did do her research (even if it's based on Holmes), that she was detailed and conscientious, and obeyed all the rules of mystery writing. It's obvious that it's not the sort of story the class wanted, but the impression we're given is that the author's intended ending was at least carefully-constructed.
Yeah, but we're not talking about cooking. Just following the recipe is no guarantee of a good result.

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Obviously, we don't know how much the class already changed during the filming, so it's hard to truly judge the story on its merits.
I'm basing myself on Houtarou's proposed solution. I'm no mystery fan, but that one seemed rather simple. The only intriguing point about it was the characters' motivations.

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All of these are lies of convenience and expediency. In every case, the answer is clear: it's the most efficient way to reach the desired goal. In the end, though, even if you can justify the lies that got Houtarou involved, I think it quickly exceeds what is required just to cover for Hongou.
It was what was necessary to get Houtarou into it. But why get him into it?

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To put it another way, if the situation were different and the most efficient course of action called for another way of handling Hongou, the collection of her behaviour shown suggests to me that she would have chosen the more efficient option. But she does consider the feelings of others: as part of her calculation. I don't think we should mistake this for genuine heart-felt concern.

Well, she answers that herself: she wasn't in a position to allow the project to fail.
What I'm saying is, she didn't have to put herself in that position. She had escape routes if she wanted them, before getting roped into it.

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That's her justification. Note that her answer was not to deny it or try to pretend that she really cared about Hongou. I don't think there's any question of whether she's driven and generally cold-hearted; they told us as much to start with, and showed nothing to prove otherwise. But again, that doesn't mean she's completely without feelings or any goodness at all.
I get the impression she just is the type to defend herself very much. I have a handful of reasons in mind, but they're too speculative.

The closest she's come was when she said she wasn't in a position to allow the project to fail, but it really doesn't sound like much. She said it in a very impersonal way. Or maybe it's just the translation?

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If you revisit the conversation that started it all, I think that's a stretch. Irisu was really twisting A~ta~shi's arm to get help, and she used the lie as a premise to get sympathy. And, from A~ta~shi's perspective, given the lie she was fed, there didn't seem to be anything wrong with eliciting Houtarou's help.
Yeah. But if it really is Tomoe, and she is as great as we've been led to believe, I don't think she was taken in by Irisu for a moment. She helped (or used) her because she wanted to, for her own reasons.

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I do think A~ta~shi is a manipulator, but I don't think her motivation is beng portrayed as being as self-serving as Irisu. But again, we don't necessarily have enough information to make a firm conclusion yet.
I don't think self-serving is the right term for either of them. Callous, maybe.
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Old 2012-07-05, 17:57   Link #104
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
It's not just a matter of scale. Houtarou was deceived. Jun wasn't. He was pressured, but he knew from the start what his role was. It eventually cost him a lot. Houtarou isn't worse off afterwards. He was tricked into being proud for the wrong reasons, but he still did something he can be proud of, and was praised for it.
Edit: I apologized for misread your argument. I thought you say Houtarou wasn't pressured. I'll fix my respond later.

Edit 2: I decided to just take my first paragraph out and put it in the spoiler. The rest should be ok.

Spoiler for Irrelevant argument:


Yes he wasn't deceived outright, but Sekitani Jun didn't know he will be a leader of a mob that would burn down a building either. He was probably told "you'll just be a leader in name only. We'll all do the work for you! You can be a hero without any work done!" Sure he know what job title he was given, but not the actual job descriptions. We all call him a bastard, but I think one can argue that the guy behind the movement could have a good intention too. Much like Irisu, he prioritized the success of the movement over other things, in the name of what best for the majority of the students. You cannot say that Jun was planned to be a scapegoat from the very beginning either. No one planed to burn a building, just strike, in worse case scenario. If that didn't happen, Sekitani Jun will be the hero, and the behind-the-scene guy will get no credit. The chance to the glory came with the risk of shouldering the blame, and no one knew ahead of time what would happen. Luckily for Houtarou, he ended up on the opposite side of What Jun did.

relentlessflame already pointed out about the difference in scale, so I won't repeat it. If you need to ask, the wolves are movie critiques, and the rabbits are the rest of the class, but I think this point is irrelevant.

I think it would be awesome if Houtarou actually realized this before he chose a title, and left a secret message that is similar to "Hyouka."

Last edited by Hyper; 2012-07-05 at 18:13.
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Old 2012-07-05, 18:04   Link #105
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Hongou was chosen to write the script at the class's request. She took it seriously, and apparently did a good job despite not writing it in such a way that people would die.
Some school projects have certain non-negotiables that are settled by consensus or vote. For this one, the movie involving character death was one of them. So while Hongou may well have done a good job when it comes to "good writing practices" in general, her leaving out an actual murder meant that her script simply wasn't going to fly with the rest of the team.

Now, I'll admit my own bias here. A mystery movie about a stab attack that doesn't go all the way (where the attacker is simply talked down by the victim), is something that I myself would have found a bit lame and tame.

My impression is that Irisu herself felt the same way about Hongou's murder-less mystery. So I don't fault Irisu for not going to bat for something that she herself doesn't really believe in (i.e. Hongou's script).


Quote:
She lied to Hongou to avoid telling her what she really felt about the script. She lied to A~ta~shi because she knew she couldn't elicit sympathy from people if her story was just "the author wrote a script I/the class don't like the ending for". She lied to Eru and the Classics Club by setting up a fake premise to get them involved in her problem. She lied to Houtarou because she believed it would motivate him to write an ending that made sense for her movie, and she lied to him again by giving him a false sense of accomplishment as if he figured out a great mystery despite it still having obvious flaws (that she figured most wouldn't notice). And beneath this tangled web of lies, you're asking me to believe that, at the root of it all, she honestly didn't want Hongou to be hurt?
Well, it's up to you what you believe. As for myself, I definitely believe that Irisu honestly didn't want Hongou to be hurt. Her choice of actions don't make sense, otherwise, for reasons that have been pointed out repeatedly by Anh_Minh and myself.

With that in mind, you don't see how Irisu's first lie necessitates the rest of them?

This is a classic textbook case of one lie leading to a series of lies in order to prevent the initial lie from being found out (I'll grant you that this isn't the only motivation for each lie, but it is at least a factor for each lie).

Irisu can't tell the movie-makers one thing, and the Classics Club something entirely different. There's a serious risk of that inconsistency being found out; all you need is the movie-makers talking with the Classics Club. And then the entire purpose of the initial lie is defeated.

If anything, this web of lies demonstrates the lengths that Irisu was willing to go to in order to protect Hongou.


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I do think there are elements of her decision-making that seem self-serving, particularly her apparently-compulsive need to lie to everyone to accomplish what she wants.
Well, like I just wrote, that "lying to everyone" is (at least in part) to ensure that the first lie stands up. So I don't see it as particularly self-serving; just something necessary to ensure that the initial lie stands up.

Actually, I will say that this arc does a very good job of showing the dangers of a dishonest cover story, and how that can necessitate a web of lies that becomes like a fragile house of cards. When it comes tumbling down, it creates a real mess.


Quote:
Two things:

1. I think there are different degrees of guilt. In this case, it seems more like "an awareness of having done something that made someone else upset". It's not clear that she truly felt remorse over what she did. There was certainly no sense that she was thinking she'd never do something like that again. And even if she did want A~ta~shi to "smooth things over", that's not exactly selfless either -- that would be manipulating someone else into cleaning up her mess.
...How is that manipulation?

Irisu: I feel sorry for him. For doing something like that to him.
Orekis's sister: Oh? Well, here's an idea on how to cheer him up. <Insert Idea here>
Irisu: Thanks for the great idea! Hopefully that'll cheer him up.

This counts as manipulation?


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2. I think that Irisu assumed that A~ta~shi was something of a kindred spirit since she was the one who suggested "using" Houtarou in the first place. What resulted from her suggestion is very much on-topic. So she lets her guard down assuming that she would laugh it off and make some joke like "it's his fault for being so gullible" or something
I don't think she let her guard down. I think that she just didn't want to seem disagreeable to A~ta~shi. So when A~ta~shi pressed Irisu with the "do you really feel sorry for him?" bit, I think Irisu was worried that A~ta~shi meant "Come on now, you're not that soft are you?"

So, ironically, I think that Irisu was bluffing... when she said she was bluffing.


Do you know what I think Irisu's real weakness is? Her real flaw?

She is too soft. Oh, she has a great poker-face, but her actions tell a different story. She actually cares too much about what other people think of her. She wants everybody to like her and respect her. So hard truths, or the expressing of personal feelings that she fears will make people look down on her, never come from her mouth. She always goes for what she thinks will be the path of least resistance. She always tells people what she thinks they want to hear. Some of this is based on what she thinks will be most effective, yes, but a lot of it is also a fear of having to stand her ground in a heated situation or having people not liking her for saying or doing something that displeases them.

This is why she froze, as Anh_Minh rightly puts it I think, when confronted by Oreki. She didn't know how to handle it. At all. She's not used to having to diffuse people being upset with her, because she carefully avoids doing or saying anything that is likely to cause that. If you want another reason why she didn't go to bat for Hongou more than she did, there's a big one right there, in my view.


This is an interpretation of Irisu's character that I've been gradually working out through this discussion. It was just a vague jumble of ideas in my mind until now. But after reading Anh_Minh's points, reading through this excellent discussion, and thinking more deeply on it, it's an interpretation of Irisu's character that I feel pretty comfortable with, if not confident with.

And the main reason I wrote this reply is to put it out there. I doubt many people will agree with it, but perhaps it'll spark some deeper thought on Irisu's character at least.
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Old 2012-07-05, 18:30   Link #106
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Do you know what I think Irisu's real weakness is? Her real flaw?

She is too soft. Oh, she has a great poker-face, but her actions tell a different story. She actually cares too much about what other people think of her. She wants everybody to like her and respect her. So hard truths, or the expressing of personal feelings that she fears will make people look down on her, never come from her mouth. She always goes for what she thinks will be the path of least resistance. She always tells people what she thinks they want to hear. Some of this is based on what she thinks will be most effective, yes, but a lot of it is also a fear of having to stand her ground in a heated situation or having people not liking her for saying or doing something that displeases them.
I cannot resist .
It's amazing how we can interpret the same thing so differently. I don't think Irisu will have any problem standing in a heated discussion. Her action tell me she does not care about what people think as long as she can get the result she want. She avoid being hated because she would not be able to make them work for the result otherwise.

Thankfully this is not science and we can view things differently, so I won't try to convince you otherwise.

Last edited by Hyper; 2012-07-05 at 18:42.
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Old 2012-07-05, 18:59   Link #107
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Originally Posted by Hyper View Post
I cannot resist .
It's amazing how we can interpret the same thing so differently. I don't think Irisu will have any problem standing in a heated discussion.
She clearly froze when confronted by Oreki. There was a lengthy tense pause during Oreki's confrontation of her. She was truly at a lost for words. That shows she's never faced anything like this before, imo. She's not used to heated discussions.


Quote:
Her action tell me she does not care about what people think as long as she can get the result she want. She avoid being hated because she would not be able to make them work for the result otherwise.
Well, if that's the case, why would she bring up how she felt sorry for Oreki after the result had been achieved?

Why not just wipe her hands of the whole matter and forget about it? The movie is done, it was a success. Mission Accomplished. Finito. Goodbye.

But no, Irisu can't easily put aside Oreki getting upset with her because it bothers her that he probably doesn't like her or respect her now.
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Old 2012-07-05, 19:06   Link #108
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Recently read an article that stated that Hyouka is more of a love letter to mysteries rather than an actual mystery show. With this latest arc, I believe that.
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Old 2012-07-05, 19:32   Link #109
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Well, it's up to you what you believe. As for myself, I definitely believe that Irisu honestly didn't want Hongou to be hurt.
Despite the fact that A~ta~shi accuses her otherwise, and she definitely seems panicked by the accusation?

If you were to wipe out that closing chat log, then maybe I could buy it. But the story seems to purposely throw her motivation into doubt.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
With that in mind, you don't see how Irisu's first lie necessitates the rest of them?
Not really. The big gap there is the one that A~ta~shi was specifically calling her out one: the manipulation of A~ta~shi herself. The accusation is that she lied about the crisis she was in to try to solicit her help, which led to her suggesting Houtarou and all. If her motivation was really so pure and good "I just want to help my friend in trouble!", why weave a lie to her senpai who no longer goes to the school anyway? Or perhaps that was the lie she tried to weave to convince her (I tend to think that might be the case, but it's not clear). In either case, the accusation is that she asked for A~ta~shi's help under a false pretence, and this doesn't seem like a necessary offshoot of the first lie. She manipulates people when it's advantageous to her, not just to protect her "friend".

Also, the lies to butter Houtarou up were not necessary either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
...How is that manipulation?

Irisu: I feel sorry for him. For doing something like that to him.
Orekis's sister: Oh? Well, here's an idea on how to cheer him up. <Insert Idea here>
Irisu: Thanks for the great idea! Hopefully that'll cheer him up.

This counts as manipulation?
...you honestly believe that's what she was expecting out of the conversation? That saying these two lines in a chat are a sign of genuine remorse, and a tacit request for help/advice? She shows no remorse; she's not torn up about it at all. If anything, she's just trying to make herself feel better because she's intellectually aware she hurt someone. I could believe that she's trying to comfort herself, but not at all that she was seeking a way to comfort him.

And besides, if she really thought that Houtarou would want to be comforted by her at this point, then she's an idiot. He has no reason at all to take anything she says as true; that bridge is burned forever.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I don't think she let her guard down. I think that she just didn't want to seem disagreeable to A~ta~shi. So when A~ta~shi pressed Irisu with the "do you really feel sorry for him?" bit, I think Irisu was worried that A~ta~shi meant "Come on now, you're not that soft are you?"

So, ironically, I think that Irisu was bluffing... when she said she was bluffing.
That would be fine if you took that line in isolation. But, combined with what happened next, it paints a bigger picture of what A~ta~shi was really getting at: not only does she not feel sorry for Houtarou, but she never truly felt sorry for Hongou either.

Basically, your perspective depends on A~ta~shi's assessment of Irisu being wrong. And to believe that, you have to have a different way of interpreting Irisu's panicked reaction to the accusation, and her answer. I'm still not convinced that your rationale fits the evidence.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Do you know what I think Irisu's real weakness is? Her real flaw?

She is too soft. Oh, she has a great poker-face, but her actions tell a different story. She actually cares too much about what other people think of her. She wants everybody to like her and respect her. So hard truths, or the expressing of personal feelings that she fears will make people look down on her, never come from her mouth. She always goes for what she thinks will be the path of least resistance. She always tells people what she thinks they want to hear. Some of this is based on what she thinks will be most effective, yes, but a lot of it is also a fear of having to stand her ground in a heated situation or having people not liking her for saying or doing something that displeases them.
The way you pitch this is extremely odd to me -- it's almost like you're trying to humanize her, but if anything this "flaw" only makes less likable. She cares so much about what other people think of her that she's willing to manipulate people (tell them what they want to hear) to try to control their perception of her. Okay, but that's totally different than actually caring too much about other people, and that's really what this all comes down to.

Nothing you've said so far has convinced me that A~ta~shi's assessment of Irisu's motivation is mistaken or inconsistent with what is shown (whether she herself is just as bad notwithstanding).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
She clearly froze when confronted by Oreki. There was a lengthy tense pause during Oreki's confrontation of her. She was truly at a lost for words. That shows she's never faced anything like this before, imo. She's not used to heated discussions.
I don't think that's the case. She showed not a hint of tension during that pause (they made a clear point of showing her completely unphased state -- a person with no experience would never be able to remain that calm), and I see no reason at all to believe that "she's never faced anything like this before". She doesn't have her "Empress" reputation for nothing. She does what you would expect a calculating person to do when confronted with an overly-emotional person: she lets the person get it out of their system, waits for them to calm down, and then proceeds to deliver her precise and non-emotional answer. Cold, calculating precision, and mind always on the prize, just as she has been since day one.


Edit: I realize you said you just wanted to get it out there for its own sake, and you realize that not many will likely agree with you, so I too just want to present the counterarguments that I can think of. But again, as I've said before, I'm okay with people considering the evidence and coming to their own conclusion here.
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Old 2012-07-05, 20:10   Link #110
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Despite the fact that A~ta~shi accuses her otherwise, and she definitely seems taken aback by the accusation?
If you told Akemi Homura that she doesn't really care about Kaname Madoka, I'm pretty sure Akemi Homura would be "taken aback" by that.

It's not because the accusation is true. It would be because the accusation is so deeply offensive to her because it's not true.


Quote:
If you were to wipe out that closing chat log, then maybe I could buy it. But the story seems to purposely throw her motivation into doubt.
Perhaps the final chat is there to lead into Irisu realizing that the "tell people what they want to hear" approach doesn't always work, and can backfire.


Quote:
The big gap there is the one that A~ta~shi was specifically calling her out one: the manipulation of A~ta~shi herself.
Irisu has a cover story, and is sticking to it. Irisu wants a solution that will fit the cover story, not the truth, because the cover story is the only one she can use if she goes looking for help amongst other students.

If she's going to get help from other students, she's going to need to get help on the pretense of the cover story. Like I said, she can't tell the movie-makers one thing, and the Classics Club something entirely different, because that runs a serious risk of the initial lie being found out.


Quote:
If her motivation was really so pure and good "I just want to help my friend in trouble!", why weave a lie?
A few points

1. Her main motivation is, as she said in chat, to ensure that the movie project meets with a successful completion. That doesn't mean that's her only motivation.

2. If it was her only motivation, she wouldn't have went through so many hoops to protect Hongou. So protecting Hongou was a secondary motivation for Irisu, imo.

3. What does lying or honesty have to do with the purity of one's motivation? A chubby woman asks her husband "Does this dress make me look fat?". The husband lies and says "No dear, you look beautiful in that dress". Does the lie mean his motivation to avoid hurting his wife's feelings is impure?


Quote:
Also, the lies to butter Houtarou up were not necessary either.
Was she lying in buttering him up? He is talented. He is good at solving mysteries, obviously.


Quote:
...you honestly believe that's what she was expecting out of the conversation?
Why would she even bring up Oreki otherwise?


Quote:
That saying these two lines in a chat are a sign of genuine remorse, and a tacit request for help/advice? She shows no remorse; she's not torn up about it at all.
How do you know if she's torn up about it or not? We never see Irisu after the final chat between her and Oreki's sister.


Quote:
If anything, she's just trying to make herself feel better because she's intellectually aware she hurt someone.
Again, how do you know that?

And even if you're right, that implies that she's at least feeling guilty about it, doesn't it?


Quote:
I could believe that she's trying to comfort herself, but not at all that she was seeking a way to comfort him.
Why is that so inconceivable to you?

In my view, she clearly feels guilty about hurting Oreki. So it's hardly inconceivable that she'd want to find a way to smooth things over with him.


Quote:
That would be fine if you took that line in isolation. But, combined with what happened next, it paints a bigger picture of what A~ta~shi was really getting at: not only does she not feel sorry for Houtarou, but she never truly felt sorry for Hongou either.
And that idea simply doesn't fit with the facts, as I have pointed out multiple times on this thread.


Quote:

Basically, your perspective depends on A~ta~shi's assessment of Irisu being wrong.
Or that A-ta-shi said what she did to make Irisu feel even more guilty about her actions, in the hopes that it'll make Irisu try to improve herself as a person.


Quote:
And to believe that, you have to have a different way of interpreting Irisu's panicked reaction to the accusation, and her answer.
Her panicked reaction is because she doesn't like people thinking ill of her. It's also because she does care about Hongou, and so she's offended at the suggestion that she doesn't care about her. Those are perfectly viable interpretations for Irisu's panicked reaction.


Quote:
The way you pitch this is extremely odd to me -- it's almost like you're trying to humanize her, but if anything this "flaw" only makes less likable.
Perhaps it makes her less likeable to you. But to me, it makes her more sympathetic, because it points to a personality weakness that undermines her.


Quote:
She cares so much about what other people think of her that she's willing to manipulate people (tell them what they want to hear) to try to control their perception of her.
Right.


Quote:
Okay, but that's totally different than actually caring too much about other people, and that's really what this all comes down to.
I don't think she cares too much about other people, but I do think she cares some about other people. If she didn't care at all about other people, she would have just dismissed how she hurt Oreki, and not alluded to it in chat.


Quote:
I don't think that's the case. She showed not a hint of tension during that pause,
People who have been in heated situations before tend to think on their feet faster than that, in my experience. I myself have been in some heated discussions before, and I've never been that slow to respond.


Quote:
She does what you would expect a calculating person to do when confronted with an overly-emotional person: she lets the person get it out of their system, waits for them to calm down, and then proceeds to deliver her precise and non-emotional answer.
I disagree. I think it would have been more effective if she had a quicker defense than what she did. Waiting that long to respond can be taken as uncertainty or lack of confidence in your position.
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Old 2012-07-05, 21:16   Link #111
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Well, this will be the end from me, because now we're just repeating ourselves. Again, I will appeal to the public to decide which point of view seems to most match their impression of the character based on what is shown in the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
That statement is highly presumptuous of you. How do you know if she's torn up or not? We never see Irisu after the final chat between her and Oreki's sister.
What does this have to do with anything? On screen she never showed any signs of guilt or remorse. When A~ta~shi asked her if she really felt sorry, she smirked. And only when her purported motivations were exposed did she get in any way excitable -- for the first time. It's the only time in the whole story that she was taken -- momentarily -- out of her cold, calm state. You can say "oh, but off screen she was so guilty and conflicted!", but if that's true, why not show that? It would seem to be an important piece of the puzzle. If the anime/novel didn't deem it important to show, then I can't really conclude that it's there in the sub-text, particularly when the other explanation seems a lot more supported by the text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why is that so inconceivable to you? You're rashly jumping to a lot of conclusions, in my opinion.
Because the follow-up to the conversation calls your conclusion into question. Sure she brought up Houtarou; after all, A~ta~shi introduced him to her. But why should we believe that, despite all her previous attempts to manipulate people, that this time she's being honest with A~ta~shi? Isn't Irisu saying she feels a bit sorry just the expected thing to say, and exactly what she figured A~ta~shi wants to hear? After all, she doesn't want to look like a bad person. Her entirely plea was based on getting sympathy in the first place. If she can go around manipulating Houtarou and not feel bad when he gets upset for being used, it begs into question her "goodness". But in fact, that's exactly what A~ta~shi called her out on anyway.

Again, I think that last chat line is the only time in the whole story we ever saw her drop her facade and reveal her true thoughts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And that idea simply doesn't fit with the facts, as I have pointed out multiple times on this thread.
No, it doesn't fit your way of connecting the facts. That doesn't mean that your interpretation is fact. It's also perfectly possible to piece together all the facts from the perspective of A~ta~shi's accusation (that all she really cared about was the project, and she never cared about Hongou), and that can align equally well with the facts shown. It's, again, a question of what you believe. Many of your arguments depend on "well, I can't see why else she would have done this if she wasn't being sincere". But, by the same token, the story itself has suggested that she wasn't being sincere. If we're just arguing about measures or degrees (75% sincere, 25% selfish! No, 25% sincere, 75% selfish!), then I think it's an argument we can never win based on the limited information at our disposal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I don't think she cares too much about other people, but I do think she cares some about other people. If she didn't care at all about other people, she wouldn't care about what other people thought of her.
I'm not sure this is much of a win here. "She cares mostly about herself, but a little bit about others." Isn't that indeed enough to taint her motivation? And there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for her caring about other people to the extent that she does: because she believes she needs them to get ahead. If she alienated all those around her, she'd quickly lose her place as "Empress".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Her panicked reaction is because she doesn't like people thinking ill of her. It's also because she does care about Hongou, and so she's offended at the suggestion that she doesn't care about her. Those are perfectly viable interpretations for Irisu's panicked reaction.
Again, in light of the above comment/concession, I wouldn't take this as a win. Her first reaction/conclusion is "I wasn't in a position to allow the project to fail". That didn't have to be her emotional reaction, but it was. That was her defence to the accusation that she didn't really care about Hongou.

Again, as I said before, I've never claimed that she's pure evil; everything is shades of grey. But I think whatever degree to which she ever really cared for any of the people involved is overshadowed by the methods she used and the accusations thrown that question her motives. So I can't support a "her heart was in the right place" argument. I do think she thought she was doing what she had to do, and using the methods that were familiar/comfortable to her. I don't think she's beyond hope or redemption, but the story hasn't gone there yet. And as I said to start this whole conversation, having that chat conversation at the end is essential if we are going to see any character development for Irisu in this story. Without that, she probably wouldn't have been pressured to consider what really motivates her... but I don't know if we'll ever find out what comes of it. If this is the end of Irisu in the story... then we'll just have to base our conclusion on what we've seen and believe, and move on.
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Old 2012-07-05, 21:35   Link #112
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Gosh, golly, gee whiz! This Irisu debate just keeps going 'round, and 'round, and 'round, and 'round.

It's like listening to a debate on health care between die-hard Democrats and die-hard Republicans. There will never be any agreement. There will never be any concessions. But there is lots, and lots, and lots of talk.

Perhaps it's time to move on to the next topic of discussion. That's my opinion.
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Old 2012-07-05, 21:55   Link #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why not just wipe her hands of the whole matter and forget about it? The movie is done, it was a success. Mission Accomplished. Finito. Goodbye.

But no, Irisu can't easily put aside Oreki getting upset with her because it bothers her that he probably doesn't like her or respect her now.
relentlessflame is doing a better job explaining than me, so I'll only add this bit: Because she is dealing with his sister. Sooner or later she'll know about it, and it's better to deal with it herself instead of let her hear about it from Houtarou. Why care about that? Because she thinks his sister is useful. It's better to keep her on her side. She couldn't care less about Houtarou by this point, but it's different for Tomoe.

To me, in this story so far, viewing Irisu in a good light is as hard as saying the guy behind Sekitani Jun is a good person. It is possible. He wanted the movement(project) to success. He did not want to hurt Jun. In fact, he wanted Jun to be a hero. It just turned out the way he did not expect.

However, I do not think anyone will be convinced.
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Old 2012-07-05, 23:15   Link #114
joeboygo
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I was kinda hoping somebody would pick up and comment on the fact that Irisu shook Houtaro's hand. I'm actually surprised that this didn't come up in that loooong Irisu-centric discussion.
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Old 2012-07-05, 23:32   Link #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeboygo View Post
I was kinda hoping somebody would pick up and comment on the fact that Irisu shook Houtaro's hand. I'm actually surprised that this didn't come up in that loooong Irisu-centric discussion.
Well, I think the rest of us have probably spoken enough (as was insinuated). What significance did you see in it?
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Old 2012-07-05, 23:39   Link #116
Triple_R
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Since the Irisu discussion has admittedly been very long, I'm putting this reply in spoiler space so people tired of the discussion can more easily skip over this post. I intend for this to be my last word on the topic.


Spoiler for Reply to relentlessflame and Hyper:
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Old 2012-07-05, 23:41   Link #117
joeboygo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
What significance did you see in it?
I'm still trying to figure that out for myself, so I want to know what others think, especially from those that have given more thought to Irisu's internal clockwork than I have thus far. But it did strike me as extremely unnatural (I am a frequent visitor to the country btw). I doubt that this detail was thrown in randomly.
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Old 2012-07-05, 23:56   Link #118
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeboygo View Post
I'm still trying to figure that out for myself, so I want to know what others think, especially from those that have given more thought to Irisu's internal clockwork than I have thus far. But it did strike me as extremely unnatural (I am a frequent visitor to the country btw). I doubt that this detail was thrown in randomly.
Maybe Irisu has a crush on Oreki, and so was overly friendly to him in one instance. That would certainly be highly ironic given what we've all been talking about, lol.

But more seriously, where/when did Irisu shake Oreki's hand? If it was in this episode, I can't find it. And I've looked this episode over repeatedly simply for the purposes of the ongoing Irisu discussion.
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Old 2012-07-06, 00:01   Link #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Actually, Oreki's sister must already know about it.

Otherwise, it would make no sense for Irisu to jump right to "I feel sorry for him. For doing something like that to him."

A.ta.shi would have no clue about what Irisu is feeling sorry for if A.ta.shi didn't already know that Oreki had been manipulated by Irisu
I bet she knows Irisu is manipulating/lying to Houtarou. She herself may came up with such a method. But that doesn't matter. I think Irisu was reporting to his sister the final outcome. She has to mention that she failed to cover it up. Her "I feel sorry.." is a part of the damage control she did so Tomoe don't hate her. Either for lying to her brother, if Tomoe was not the one who suggest it, or for failing to cover it up and break Houtarou's self-esteem if Tomoe herself told her to just lie to him.

Now we can argue if Tomoe is actually so awesome that she know this is what exactly will happen. Does she know Irisu well enough to predict what method she will use or she has to suggest it herself? Does she have enough confidence in Houtarou and know that he'll eventually figure it out? I do not know. Where is Oreki Tomoe thread again?

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But more seriously, where/when did Irisu shake Oreki's hand? If it was in this episode, I can't find it. And I've looked this episode over repeatedly simply for the purposes of the ongoing Irisu discussion.
It was last episode, when he finished his "solution."
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Old 2012-07-06, 00:09   Link #120
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyper View Post
I bet she knows Irisu is manipulating/lying to Houtarou. She herself may came up with such a method. But that doesn't matter. I think Irisu was reporting to his sister the final outcome. She has to mention that she failed to cover it up.
Well, if so, starting off with "I feel sorry for him" is awfully weird.

Wouldn't a more natural way to start off with be "I do have some bad news, though, senpai. Your brother figured things out, I'm afraid." and then get to the "I feel sorry..." part?

So I think that a.ta.shi also already knows that Oreki knows the truth.


Quote:

Her "I feel sorry.." is a part of the damage control she did so Tomoe don't hate her.
There's no indication from those first three lines that Tomoe is upset in the slightest. Where's the need for damage control?

From what I can make out, Tomoe knows everything about Oreki's part in this, and she's not expressing anger over that part of it. Which makes sense if Tomoe was "in" on this, at least for the most part. In which case, Irisu already knows that Tomoe is somebody that's fine with her brother being manipulated.


Edit: On the handshake issue. I just watched that. Well, I'm not sure what to make out of it. Oreki himself was surprised by the gesture I think. Perhaps Irisu shook his hand as a symbol of finality and accomplishment? In the hopes that he'd put the movie out of his mind now, and not dig any deeper?
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